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Government Lawyers' Ethical Duties: Staying Current Amid 21st Century Changes


Level: Advanced
Runtime: 93 minutes
Recorded Date: September 18, 2018
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Agenda


  • Reporting duties; duty of confidentiality; duty to provide competent representation, including proficiency in technology
  • Conflicts of interest for special government employees
  • Use of social media, pro bono work, political participation, and gift rules
Runtime: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Recorded: September 18, 2018

Description

With the explosion of technology in the practice of law, public lawyers are faced with some unique ethical situations.

When faced with an ethical dilemma, government attorneys must strike the balance between the duty owed to their client, their employer, the judiciary, and the public at large. State ethics rules provide special rules for government attorneys with little guidance. On top of this, developments in technology and the use of social media have blurred the lines of a government attorney's public life versus their private life and the duty to report wrongdoing.

Our expert panel will run through various ethical conundrums and use polling questions in order for participants to help identify a government lawyer's ethical obligation.

This program was recorded on September 18th, 2018.

Provided By

American Bar Association

Panelists

Wendy Muchman

Senior Lecturer
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Wendy J. Muchman joined the law school faculty in 2014 as a Lecturer. She was formerly an Adjunct Professor of Legal Ethics at Northwestern from 2000 to 2014 and has taught Legal Ethics courses at other Chicago law schools. Professor Muchman currently is the Chief of Litigation and Professional Education at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois. She investigates and prosecutes lawyer disciplinary cases, including In re Rinella, 175 Ill.2d 504, 677 N.E.2d 909 (1997). Her job responsibilities also include supervision and training of all litigation attorneys and staff at the ARDC. She regularly lectures and presents workshops regarding professional responsibility and disciplinary law to various bar association groups, law firms, judges and law schools.

Professor Muchman serves as a faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) for the regional and national trial advocacy, deposition and National Organization of Bar Counsel programs. She serves as an assistant team leader for the NITA Trial Advocacy Midwest Regional Program. In 2013, she was selected to participate as a fellow in the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professional Responsibilty. In 2012, she was elected member-at-large to the Council of the American Bar Association Government and Public Lawyers Division where she stills serves. Between 2009 and 2011, she served as the Vice-Chair, then Chair, of the Chicago Bar Association Committee on Professional Responsibility. Prior to 1989 when she started her employment at the Commission, Professor Muchman litigated in the state and federal courts. Areas of practice included insurance litigation, civil rights, age discrimination and aviation defense work. Professor Muchman received her JD from DePaul University College of Law and her BA from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana.

Lawrence J. Fox

Partner
Schoeman Updike Kaufman & Gerber LLP

Lawrence Fox is the George W. and Sadella D. Crawford Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School and a partner of Schoeman Updike Kaufman & Gerber LLP in New York City where he practices in the areas of professional responsibility and corporate governance.

He is a former chairman of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and a former chairman of the ABA’s Section of Litigation. Mr. Fox is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the University of Pennsylvania. He previously taught law at Cornell, The University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard. He has lectured at more than 35 law schools, and is the author and co-author of seven books on professional responsibility and dozens of articles on many topics related to both ethics and litigation. He was a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP for 45 years.

Paula J. Frederick

General Counsel & Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility
State Bar of Georgia

Paula J. Frederick is general counsel for the state bar of Georgia and chair for the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Ms. Frederick heads a 10-lawyer office responsible for interpreting the ethics rules for lawyers, prosecuting lawyer discipline cases and providing legal advice to the officers and directors of the bar. She is the author of a bimonthly column for the Georgia Bar Journal and frequently speaks on issues of lawyer ethics and professionalism.

Prior to her work at the State Bar of Georgia, she spent six years as a lawyer with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, handling civil legal matters. Ms. Frederick is a past president of the Atlanta Bar Association and Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys. She is a past chair of both the ABA Diversity Center and the Standing Committee on Professional Discipline. She currently serves as a Georgia State delegate in the House of Delegates.

Ms. Frederick earned her B.A. in political science from Duke University. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law. 

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